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Indoor Exercises to Help During and After Cancer Treatment in Wintertime

Zaw Bo, MD, medical oncologist and hematologist with OHC, Blogs, 0 comments
December 3, 2018


If you are a cancer patient or a survivor, most likely your doctor has recommended that you exercise.

Studies show that cancer patients who exercise are less tired than patients who don’t exercise. And they also experience less depression and sleep better.

Cancer treatment is often associated with the onset of metabolic syndrome, a cluster of related conditions including heart disease, hypertension, obesity, high blood sugar, and insulin resistance. That’s why it’s important for survivors to continue exercising after treatment. Researchers have found that regular exercise can help tackle or prevent the onset of metabolic syndrome and increase life expectancy.

The type of exercise you should or are able to do will depend on your specific condition.

If you’ve finished radiation treatment, you probably feel very fatigued most of the time. The thought of exercising might be the last thing on your mind, but increasing your physical activity may actually reduce fatigue.

If you’re in the middle of chemotherapy, exercising can help with fatigue as well as nausea caused by the medications. It can also boost your immune system, which can be compromised during treatment. Some patients report weight gain from chemotherapy, and exercise can help you maintain your weight.

Exercise will also depend on the time of year.

Colder temperatures and slippery conditions may be keeping you inside. Regardless of where you are in your journey, here are some exercises that can be done indoors. It’s important to remember that before you try any exercise, you need to check with your cancer doctor first.

  • Walk. It’s one of the easiest exercises to do. You can go fast or slow. You can walk for 10 minutes or 30. You don’t need special equipment or gear. And you can walk indoors at a mall or around your home. You can even walk in place.
  • Stretch. Stretching can help you stay flexible and maintain your mobility.
  • Swim. If you have access to an indoor pool, swimming is another form of exercise that can be less strenuous or more robust depending on how you feel.
  • Lift weights. Many people lose muscle and gain fat through cancer treatment, and lifting weights can help. If you don’t have weights, you can use plastic jugs filled with water, and change the amount as you get stronger.

As you begin to feel better and stronger, you can take longer, more vigorous walks, or increase your weights. If you were active before you started treatment, try to keep it up! If you weren’t, take it slowly and build up your stamina. Just don’t let winter weather stop you from feeling better.

For more information about exercise, talk with your OHC doctor or nurse or call OHC at 1-888-649-4800.


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